Saturday, March 2, 2024

Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty of helping Jeffrey Epstein abuse girls

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Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The 60-year-old was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced – including the most serious charge, that of sex trafficking a minor.

The verdict was reached after five full days of deliberation by a 12-person jury in New York.

It means the British socialite could spend the rest of her life behind bars.

A date for Maxwell’s sentencing has not yet been set.

The verdict followed a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who described being abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell showed no visible sign of emotion as the verdict was read out on Wednesday, only pouring herself a glass of water which she sipped from twice.

Shortly after the verdict, her legal team said they were already working on an appeal. “We firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence,” her lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, told reporters.

Annie Farmer, one of the women who testified against Maxwell, said: “I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognised [her] pattern of predatory behaviour.

“I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law,” she said.

Maxwell was found guilty of:

  • sex trafficking of a minor
  • transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
  • conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
  • conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
  • conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts

She was found not guilty of one count – enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, welcomed the verdict and commended the “bravery” of the victims who came forward. (BBC)

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